SEO Content Brief
It has been well established that high-quality content is one of the most important elements when it comes to having success with SEO. The problem is, good content isn’t easy to come by. Very few SEOs can claim to be good writers, so often they’ll manage a writing team or hire freelancers. However, they have plenty of complaints when it comes to finding, managing, and keeping good writers. You’ll probably have seen many rants about it on LinkedIn. I’ve worked with a number of different writers over the years and it is true that it is hard to keep people motivated and to ensure that you get a consistent quality of work. However, what many digital marketers forget is that getting good content isn’t entirely dependent on the work of your content writers. There’s an important step within the content writing process that many marketers overlook.
If you’re finding that you’re not getting the results you need with your content, your writer might not be the problem; it could be you. If you don’t provide your writers with a solid SEO content brief, they won’t produce the quality of work that you are looking for. I’ve made a video on how to write a good SEO content brief, which you can watch if you’re more of a visual learner like I am.
So, what is a content brief and how can we make the lives of our content writers easier by providing a good one? More importantly, are there any tools out there that can make the process of producing a good SEO content brief even easier for us?
What is an SEO Content Brief?
To put it very simply, a content brief is a document that helps your writer understand exactly what you want out of a piece of content. It provides them with all the information that they need. An SEO content brief would be aimed at helping them to write content that will rank for a specific keyword, so it may have more specialised research. A good content brief will include;
- The keyword being targeted
- A minimum (and maximum) wordcount
- The headings and subheadings
- The desired tone and purpose
- Some guidance on formatting
It seems like a lot of work, but it is important to give your writers as much to work with as possible. Not only will it end with you getting better content, but it’ll take a lot less time to write it as well.
Why is providing a good SEO Content Brief important?
There is an element of truth to the common complaint that good content writers are hard to find. However, there are things that we can do to help our chances. If an average writer is provided with a well-researched SEO content brief, they will produce much better content than an average writer provided with an average content brief. It seems obvious, but it’s something that many SEOs don’t consider when they’re hiring freelancer writers or telling their team what to do.
I’ve tested the importance of having a decent content brief myself. I deliberately made a bad content brief so that I could test and demonstrate what happens when you don’t do the research and don’t provide the writers with enough information. The content writer I sent this brief to was baffled when they received it, mostly because it then made their job of writing good content ten times more difficult. While this person did let me know that it was a bad job, the problem is many writers won’t. They will just try to work with whatever trash you have provided them with.
Also, if you’re wanting to scale an agency, having a good process for creating good SEO content briefs is crucial if you want to have consistent work. You don’t want a team of writers who never know what they’re doing and take a ton of time trying to guess what it is you want from them.
How do you produce an SEO Content Brief?
Just like writing good content, writing a good content brief can be difficult. You can’t just pluck the information you need to provide for your writers from thin air. It’s going to take some research. Unfortunately, this is time-consuming and not really what the average SEO wants to be doing. You need to be working on the business, not in the business.
So, you don’t want to spend hours manually analysing your competition to try and assess what you need in your content to compete with them. What do you do?
Delegate and use tools to write a good SEO content brief. There is one tool in particular that I would highly recommend.
Writing Content Briefs with Frase
Frase is the perfect tool for writing a good content brief. It has been around for years, so it probably isn’t a surprise to many of you to hear this recommended. However, it is a tool that is getting better and better. I’ve provided a more thorough demonstration of how the tool works in the video above, but I’ll give another brief explanation.
Frase processes the top twenty Google search results for any given search query. For example, in the video, I search for SEO Glasgow. It will then provide you with those top search results’ word counts, headers, links, domain authority, and even images. It pretty much provides you with all the information you need to start to form your own content brief. If you’re like me and don’t want to deal with a big wall of information, Frase is perfect because it’s all presented to you in a structured way.
With just a few amendments and checks, Frase will provide you with a really detailed content brief. Even if you opt for the most basic settings, you will have something that at least beats the usual, ‘header and made-up word count’ that many writers are expected to produce magic with. If you watch the video, you’ll be able to see just how good the content brief template Frase provides you. Your writer will be provided an accurate word count, the tone they should be aiming for, topical clusters, and all sorts of information.
Many SEOs complain about their content writers, but the problem might actually be us and our content briefs. Whether you opt to use a tool like Frase or Page Optimizer Pro, you need to ensure that you give your content team a good SEO content brief. It’ll streamline the writing process and end with you getting a lot better results when it comes to ranking. The days of giving a writer a header and a word count and having the content be good enough are over.
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